HomeBusiness DigestLack of finance hampers housing

Lack of finance hampers housing


Conrad Dube

SHELTER Zimbabwe, a private trust specialising in housing development in Zimbabwe, says the critical lack of financial resources has slowed the rate of property development.


Moses Tawengwa, a senior official with the company, noted that housing expansion suffered from high inflation because funds held in trust were fast diminishing to make any significant impact when eventually ploughed into long-intended projects, including residential estates.


“Infrastructure requires huge capital investments and the private sector is also facing problems (on that front),” he said, hinting that private developers’ efforts were being compromised by lack of financial depth.


“Developers’ funding has also been stretched in light of escalating land preparation costs and off-site infrastructural challenges in most areas,” Tawengwa added.


Singling out local authorities’ financial shortcomings and how they have had to share costs related to improving essential infrastructure, and surroundings of chosen sites, Tawengwa said, such unbudgeted expenditure had put pressure on private developers’ funds.


“Off-site services are costly for local authorities to bear (the costs) alone,” he noted, adding that high interest rates on market-borrowed capital had rendered most services offered by private developers expensive.


According to him, offsite costs relate to road, sewer and water constructions, and largely installations that help communal or dwelling wholesomeness and not necessarily individual projects.


Much as housing developers preoccupy themselves with improving surroundings linked to particular lightweight works, they are often forced to chip in with key infrastructure development because of pressure to expedite projects by occupants or tenants.


Shelter, which has embarked on several low-cost and high profile property developments around Zimbabwe, says it has unveiled a new medium-density project at Adelaide farm, 15 kilometres south east of the capital Harare.


The company owned by Chester Mhende’s Rutima Land Developers, says close to 1 500 stands measuring up to 2 000 square metres are on offer.


A locally owned company, Shelter is also one of the many real estate players to emerge in the post 90’s economic liberalisation period.

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